At the beginning of the year, a coworker and close friend asked the table of about 5 of us at lunch to state our goals for the year. Admittedly, this friend has no end to her tolerance for cheesy exercises like this, but her confident insistence that these things improve her life and the lives of those around her make it hard not to participate. Because not everyone at the table knew of my plan to leave my job in April, to sell the condo and the cars, and set out on a spiritual journey around the world, I decided to say it without saying it. I said, “My goal is to be more bold and adventuresome.”
I had not thought about it in those terms until that very moment, but it was absolutely the perfect encapsulation of my intent. I wanted to start a life where I simply did those things I had always dreamt of doing and trust myself to figure it out. I wanted to begin to live my life on the principle that if I just took the leap and jumped into the river, I would find a way to swim.
So in mid-February, I went into the office of the partner I work most closely with, and said, “My wife and I are taking a sabbatical.” Before I even asked, he said he would see what he could do. This was unexpected, unrequested, and more complimentary than I could have imagined he would be.
The next day, another partner I work with on a constant basis came to my office. He made a half-hearted effort to get me to cut the trip to 3 months rather than 9 or 10. Then he said, “We have really liked having you here. When you’re finished with your trip, I hope you will come back to us.”
I was overwhelmed by the positive reaction I received. I had always figured that I was good enough to keep around. But to get this response from these two people when I was leaving them made me recognize that I was more valuable than I would ever have known if I had never taken the bold step off the beaten path.
The journey around the world has yet to begin. But the journey of the soul is well on its way. The rewards of boldness are evident already.